The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee hammered President Joe Biden on Sunday for his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said that the Taliban is poised to threaten the stability of the Afghan government and Biden will be responsible for the looming violence and repression left in the Taliban’s wake.
“We’re going dark in Afghanistan, and there’s going to be consequences long term for this,” McCaul said on “Fox News Sunday. “President Biden [is] going to own these images.”
Biden announced in April that by the fall the U.S. would withdraw nearly all of its remaining forces from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years there. Recently, the military officially left Bagram Airfield and turned over control of the strategically important post to the Afghan National Security Forces
Biden plans to keep 650 troops in the country, primarily to help secure diplomats located at the U.S. Embassy there, but the burden of fending off the Taliban — which was toppled from power in 2001 but which has never gone away — will fall on Afghanistan’s military leadership.
Biden gave a modest vote of confidence on Friday that the Afghan government will be able to do so, and said that the U.S. would provide some support to that end.
But, he said, “the Afghans are gonna have to do it themselves.”
McCaul said he worried about the safety of those stationed at the embassy given the size of the security force designated to the task and compared it to the doomed stand at the Alamo in 1836.
“I’m from Texas. The Alamo, we had 250 Texans fight 5,000 Mexicans, didn’t end so well there,” he said. “I think the odds are worse in Afghanistan”
McCaul said he disagreed with Biden’s strategy, which he partially inherited from former President Donald Trump — who set a May 1 deadline, arguing that “the vacuum is going to be filled by terrorists.”
McCaul also referenced concerns raised by top military officials in U.S. during the decision-making process.
“Nobody thought this was a good idea,” McCaul said.